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Digital Day 2018: EU countries to commit to doing more together on the digital front

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo source: pixabay.com
Reading Time: 4 minutes

Brussels, 9 April 2018 – Tomorrow the Commission will bring ministers, representatives of EU countries, industry, academia and civil society representatives together to encourage cooperation in artificial intelligence, blockchain, eHealth and innovation.

Discussions will focus on how the technological developments will shape the future of Europe and building a strong Digital Single Market with increased investment and digital skills is crucial.

After last year’s Digital Day in Rome that triggered successful cooperation in areas such as high-performance computing, connected mobility and the digitisation of industry, the Commission is repeating the initiative to encourage more cooperation on digital issues.

Within a year, major progress has been made towards a Digital Single Market. The end of roaming charges and the portability of online content are now part of the lives of Europeans. Stronger rules on the protection of personal data and the first EU-wide rules on cybersecurity will become a reality in May 2018.

Many proposals still need to be agreed. Europe should move forward, and building on the Digital Single Market, increase investments and foster cooperation in a series of key areas such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, eHealth and innovation.

Andrus Ansip, Vice-President for the Digital Single Market, said: “Europeans are starting to feel the benefits of the Digital Single Market on the ground. They can now travel across borders with their favourite video and music streaming services – and with no roaming charges. Soon geoblocking when shopping online will be a distant memory. Our personal data will be better protected as of 25 May. This year’s Digital Day is the perfect moment to recognise what we have achieved but to also encourage EU Member States to move forward quickly with the legislative proposals still on the table. We need to prepare our digital future together; we need to do more, joining forces and resources to grasp the opportunities offered by technologies such as artificial intelligence and blockchain.” (The opening speech will be available here at around 9:30 CET tomorrow).

Mariya Gabriel, Commissioner for the Digital Economy and Society, said: “Digitalisation is transforming our society and we can reap its full benefits only through close and fruitful cooperation. Coordinated EU-level commitment and investments are much needed to tackle the challenges ahead. I expect Digital Day 2018 to bring the digital cooperation in Europe to a new level regarding artificial intelligence as well as eHealth, and I encourage all EU Member States and stakeholders to contribute to our efforts to keep Europe a global player in the digital age.”

Highlights of Digital Day 2018 include declarations aimed at:

  • Joining forces on artificial intelligence (AI): AI can bring major benefits to our society and economy, such as better healthcare, safer transport and a more competitive industry. To fully benefit from the opportunities offered by AI, European countries need to work together, including for using the highest standards of data protection. The Commission will adopt a Communication on AI in the coming weeks. More about the declaration on AI will be available here at around 13:00 CET tomorrow.
  • Building a European partnership in blockchain technologies: The European Commission recently launched the EU Blockchain Observatory and Forum in February 2018 and will invest some €300 million in projects supporting the use of blockchain. At the same time Member States have been very active in supporting blockchain ecosystems, launching experiments and announcing actions at the government level. In order to harness the many opportunities of blockchain and avoid a fragmented approach, tomorrow the Commission will lay the groundwork for establishing a European Blockchain Partnership to promote interoperable infrastructures that will enhance trusted digital services. More about the declaration on blockchain technologies will be available here at around 15:30 CET tomorrow.
  • Sharing data to personalise healthcare: Citizens’ needs are at the centre of data-driven healthcare innovation and should have an active role in their personalised treatment. The eHealth declaration aims at linking access to existing and future genomic databases across the European Union which will help to advance research in rare diseases, cancer, pharmacogenomics, disease prevention, brain related diseases and other conditions. Enhanced cooperation between Member States will help to overcome lack of interoperability and fragmentation of initiatives across the EU, while guaranteeing highest European standards for personal data protection. This will also keep the EU at the forefront of personalised medicine globally, fostering scientific output and industrial competitiveness. More about the declaration on genomic databankswill be available here at around 17:00 CET tomorrow.
  • Encouraging innovation with the help of a new online tool: The Innovation Radar can help match innovators with those who can help get their innovations to market. During Digital Day 2018, the Commission encourages the cooperation for supporting breakthrough innovations in Europe. The initiative also aims to develop the online tool further and enrich it with top national innovation projects.More about the declaration on Innovation Radarwill be available here at around 17:30 CET tomorrow.
  • 5G cross-border testing corridors to support connected and automated mobility: A first set of large-scale testing corridors was announced in September 2017. Tomorrow, Spain and Portugal will sign a Memorandum of Understanding to kick-start their cooperation. More about Memorandum of understanding will be available here at around 11:30 CET tomorrow.

Background

During Digital Day 2017, the focus was on five initiatives:

For More Information

Livestream of the Digital Day 2018

Digital Day 2017 in Rome

Cooperation for building European supercomputers

Timeline: Digital Single Market – Commission actions since 2015

#DigitalDay18

@DSMeu @Ansip_EU @GabrielMariya

IP/18/2902

Press contacts:

Nathalie VANDYSTADT (+32 2 296 70 83)
Inga HOGLUND (+32 2 295 06 98)

General public inquiries: Europe Direct by phone 00 800 67 89 10 11 or by email

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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European Union

EGBA Joined the European AI Alliance

George Miller

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EGBA Joined the European AI Alliance
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This month the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA) joined the European AI alliance, a new stakeholder forum which has been established by the European Commission to engage in a broad and open discussion of all aspects of Artificial Intelligence development and its impacts. The European AI Alliance will form a broad multi-stakeholder platform which will complement and support the work of the Commission’s AI High Level Expert Group in particular in preparing draft AI ethics guidelines, and ensuring competitiveness of the EU in the field of Artificial Intelligence.

EGBA is pleased to join the European AI Alliance and looks forward to engaging with the Commission and other stakeholders to ensure the benefits of AI can be harnessed within the online gambling sector. AI has the potential to be a very important tool to help attain important public policy objectives in the online gambling sector, including – the prevention of fraud, tackling money laundering, strengthening consumer protection and the prevention of problem gambling.

More info about the initiative here.

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Advertisement banning trends in the European Union and the Balkans, subject of the IMGL MasterClass in Prague

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 5 minutes

 

There has been a recent wave that has swept across the gambling industry and had the form of banning gambling related advertisement. This is the case in many European jurisdictions, but we are not excluding that this is a global wave. Media outlets have reported that such bans are scheduled to be included in Asia as well.

In Sweden, new online gambling operators may lose their ability to market their products entirely if the government takes note of new survey results which shows more than half (53%) of Swedes believe gambling advertising should be banned.

The latest survey results are not a surprise and come to complement the Minister of Civil Affairs Ardalan Shekarabi beliefs, who has summoned all 69 Swedish online gambling licensees to a meeting on the 14th of February to discuss their marketing activities. Just earlier, Shekarabi publicly contemplated following the UK’s lead and banning all gambling promos during live sports broadcasts.

About two weeks ago, Niels Folmann, director of the state-run former gambling monopoly Danske Spil, told local media that the Danish government should follow the UK’s lead and enact a blanket prohibition on gambling advertising during televised live sports events.

These subject are among the reasons why we have asked the experts of the industry from IMGL to present a MasterClass during the event which will focus on these aspects and treat the industry is currently facing in several European jurisdictions and also in the Balkans.

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Italy in the focus – Good news and bad news

The Italian gambling authority, Agenzia delle dogane e dei monopoli (ADM), released the list of the approved candidates that will be allowed to operate in the local market. Their licenses will be valid through December 31, 2022. The regulator has awarded 66 concessions and has also issued licenses to four other companies which will treat with reserves for reasons it said it would communicate to the licensees themselves.

Even if the Seria A gambling sponsor ban has been delayed until July, there are still lots of tensions in the “lo Stivale”.  The Italian soccer clubs have been permitted to keep existing betting deals until the end of the season. The extension follows the enforcement of a government-led blanket ban on gambling advertising throughout Italy.

The ban applies to all gambling-related products and services across all media platforms – including television, websites, and radio – and sports clubs are also to be prohibited from carrying sponsors from the industry.

While the delay to the implementation of the ban is a positive for soccer clubs in the country, the move merely marks a delay to a law that could have severe consequences for Italy’s soccer industry.

Operators within the gambling industry have criticized the new measures, warning that prices may rise and the illegal gambling sector could benefit as a result.

In an open letter written in July to Luigi Di Maio, the government’s Deputy Prime Minister who authored the decrees, Italian-licensed gambling operator LeoVegas added that the ban wouldn’t achieve a significant reduction in gambling activity. Rather, he wrote, it would lead to a surge in advertising by gambling operators not holding Italian licenses. (source sportspromedia.com)

Quirino Mancini, the Global Head of the Gaming and Gambling Practice at Tonucci & Partners will take the role to give an in-depth review of the Italian market.

The company he represents, Tonucci & Partners, is a top-ten Italian general practice firm with offices in Rome, Milan, Brescia, Padua, Florence, Tirana, Bucharest, and Belgrade.

Quirino is one of the leading Italian gaming and gambling lawyers with a specialist practice of almost 20 years. He acts for Italian and foreign-based online and land-based companies operating in the Italian gaming market, advising them on legal, licensing, regulatory, day-to-day compliance and any other operational aspects connected to their activities. He also runs a bespoke matchmaking and business strategy service to provide clients with a customized type of assistance that includes also introduction and facilitation of dealings with the local regulatory authorities, banks as well as scouting and suitability checks on potential business partners.

Quirino is a regular speaker at most international gaming conferences and sits in the editorial board of various sector reviews and magazines. Co-founder and editor of www.gaminglaw.eu, a pan-European information and commentary portal focusing on legal and regulatory issues under European and national gaming laws.

Secretary and fellow member of the Leadership Committee of the International Masters of Gaming Law (IMGL), a worldwide organization gathering regulators, lawyers and advisors, in-house counsels and educators engaged in the gaming business. A fellow member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors (IAGA)

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Britain to blame for the situation?

If you have read the intro part of this article, you will find one common fact. In each situation, the UK gambling ban is cited. It seems everyone is following the idea of the advertisement ban which has been sparked last year.

UK press has just announced that it has been decided that gambling adverts will no longer be allowed to appear on websites or in computer games that are popular with children, under new rules designed to stop irresponsible gambling.

Bookmakers will be required to use every targeting tool possible to ensure online gambling promotions are not seen by under-18s. They will also have to avoid placing gambling adverts on parts of websites that are popular with children and stop using celebrities or other people who appear to be under 25 in their promotions. (source: theguardian.com)

Coming into force on 1 April, the guidelines devised by the Committees of Advertising Practice (CAP), which is responsible for writing and maintaining the UK advertising codes, will prohibit online ads for gambling products being targeted at individuals likely to be aged under 18. These standards cover all digital media including social networks and other online platforms.

This complements many other banning procedures, as you may know, from July 2018, the British betting industry has implemented a “whistle-to-whistle” ban on all TV betting adverts during pre-watershed live sports programming, with the exception of horse and greyhound racing.

William Hill has become the first UK-listed operator to call for a media strategy review in 2019, with competitors likely to follow suit as betting leadership adjusts to new advertising realities.

Russell Mifsud (Gaming industry specialist – Associate Director at KPMG Malta) will take on the role to discussing these aspects and how will report how operators are taking steps in order to comply while also keeping an eye on the brand strategy and business run.

Russell is an Economist and Associate Director at KPMG, who leads the firm’s gaming department. Russell provides insight on the industry externalities and commercial strategy for KPMG and our clientele across the board. He also helps drive a core group of professionals who specialize in gaming within the KPMG network globally. Russell also sits on the board of the Malta Remote Gaming Council and Silicon Valletta. He works closely with the KPMG Audit, Tax & Advisory teams locally and internationally in order to assist network with identifying risks and opportunities, with a view to adding strategic insight and guidance to clientele across the board.

Russell Mifsud and Quirino Mancini will be joined by leading experts from Central Europe, the Balkans and Germany to complement advertisement banning procedures which are being implemented or discussed in their jurisdiction.

Jaka Repanšek (Media and Gaming Expert), Zlatan Omerspahić (Data Protection and Compliance Lawyer at NSoft) and Martin Arendts (Founder of ARENDTS ANWAELTE) be the experts taking on this role while the MasterClass will be moderated by Dr. Matthias Spitz (Senior Partner, MELCHERS LAW)

Do not miss this opportunity to attend the IMGL MasterClass presented by members and non-members of the International Masters of Gaming Law at Prague Gaming Summit 3!

You can Register here or View the Agenda

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The large B2B gambling industry conference in London is over, where to go next in S1

Zoltan Tundik

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Photo credits: European Gaming Media
Reading Time: 3 minutes

 

Year by year, the gambling industry is trying to reshape itself and explore new partnership opportunities and regional expansions to grow the B2C side.

Now, that the largest gambling industry conference has closed its doors, we would like to showcase some of the options you have for learning and networking in Europe that are going to take place in the first semester of 2019.

DACH, Central Europe and Eastern Europe

The third edition of Prague Gaming Summit, also known as #PragueGamingSummit3, will take place on the 12th of March at Vienna House Andel’s Prague and gathers will gather +150 delegates from all across Europe for a full day of learning and networking.

Here is a short list of the companies that you can meet in Prague: Multigate, iFortuna Slovakia, Odds1x2 Holding, TrafficLightMedia, Genesis Global, Tal Ron, Drihem & Co., PLANZER LAW, Zurich, Scout Gaming Group, Golden Race, All-in Translations, Hyperion Tech, PS Legal, Fortuna Group, Endorphina, Republis, Bird & Bird Poland, WH Partners, Playtech, Gabnys Law, OSM Solutions, ARQ Group Malta, Federbet AISBL, Mindway AI, Assissa, BETEGY, Austrian Association for Betting and Gambling, MME Legal, MELCHERS LAW, KPMG Malta, NSoft, ARENDTS ANWAELTE, Global Legal Group, Efbet, Greentube Internet Entertainment Solutions GmbH, NetEnt, Trustly, Boljoro and many more.

The conference will highlight compliance updates and expansion opportunities in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Austria, Switzerland and Germany, while also focusing on trending industry topics topics such as the relationships between Regulators, Operators – Affiliates, MasterCard’s new requirements for Online Merchants (CFD, FX, Gaming, Crypto), understanding millennials (with emphasis on eSports, Daily Fantasy Sports, Online Slots Games and Virtual Sports), outsourcing for gaming companies, IT security, AML, KYC, CSR. +40 speakers are awaited to bring the latest in terms of content and business intelligence!

As the current status of some European jurisdictions dictates the rise of advertisement banning, we have invited the members of IMGL to hold an IMGL MasterClass that will focus on Advertisement banning trends in the European Union and the Balkans.

Do not miss this exciting opportunity to hear the latest information first hand at Prague Gaming Summit 3 and discuss collaboration possibilities with attending delegates!

You can Register here or View the Agenda

Full details about the event can be found on the official event website: www.praguegamingsummit.com


The Baltics and Nordics

In the second part of S1, we are inviting you to the second edition of the most important conference in the Baltic Sea region, the MARE BALTICUM Gaming Summit, also known as The Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Summit and Awards.

The Summit will the place on the 9th of May at Radisson Blu Royal Astorija Hotel in Vilnius (Lithuania) and will bring together the most influential gambling companies from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Denmark, and Sweden.

The event will also be the launching pad for the first edition of the Baltic and Scandinavian Gaming Awards which will celebrate the top 30 companies form the two regions during an awards ceremony. You can find more details about the awards here!

The compliance-related information will be presented by the 5 regulators which will be present at the event and the summit promises to gather +125 leading companies under one roof for a full day of networking and learning.

You can find more details about the Agenda here

Register here!

Browse the official event website here: www.marebalticumgaming.com

We hope to see you there and make sure to plan your autumn events calendar after checking out to opportunities we have at the fourth edition of CEEGC and CEEG Awards Budapest, and the leading conference in Europe that covers +20 jurisdiction updates, the European Gaming Congress, held in Milan, Italy.

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